Happy New Year! We’re proud of you for making plans to get home safe on New Year’s Eve. Now, it’s time to make some resolutions to make sure you have safe travels the rest of the year. Here are four resolutions you can make to ensure a year of safe driving.
1. Never Drink and Drive
You got a great start on New Year’s Eve by not drinking and driving, so why stop now? With ridesharing apps making it easier than ever to get an affordable ride, there’s no reason to get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking. It’s always better to call a friend or family member and endure a lecture on responsible drinking than to get behind the wheel and never make it home.
Make it a resolution this year to plan ahead before events where you expect to drink. Have a designated driver or use a promotional code to get a discounted Uber or Lyft ride. Don’t forget to use public transportation, either; if you’re short on cash, it may be cheaper than using an app.
2. Put Down Your Cell Phone
Distracted driving still remains a problem among American drivers of all ages, and the biggest temptation that pulls drivers’ eyes off of the road is their cell phones. Make a resolution not to touch your cell phone from the moment you turn on your car until the moment you’re parked at your destination.
That means planning plenty of features ahead of time. Our cell phones aren’t just used for talking or texting anymore; many drivers rely on their phones for navigation or music. These features can be just as distracting as communicating with someone over the phone.
If you need to rely on a navigation app to get where you’re going, look at the map ahead of time. Put your destination in and use audio cues so you don’t have to keep glancing at your map to anticipate your next move. Mount your phone somewhere you can easily glance at it without taking your attention away from the road. That means keeping it out of your lap and instead using a device to mount it on your windshield or on your dashboard.
If you can’t drive without a good soundtrack, create a playlist of your favorite tunes before you get into the car, and start the playlist before you start driving. Decide beforehand if you need to shuffle for variety or if you’d like to go in a specific order. That way, you can listen to your tunes without constantly grabbing your phone to change a song.
It’s even better to drive with a friend. A friend can be your designated texter, caller, navigator, and DJ all rolled into one so you can focus on the road.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Most American don’t get enough sleep, but did you know that feeling tired has more consequences than just falling asleep in your morning meeting? Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. After a full 24 hours without sleep, a person’s driving abilities are similar to a person with a .10 blood alcohol level, well over the legal limit of .08, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
60 percent of American adults admit to driving while drowsy, and around one-third admit to falling asleep at the wheel. Make it one of your resolutions for 2018 not to drive while drowsy.
4. Don’t Tailgate
Not tailgating is perhaps one of those rules that follows the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. Tailgating may feel satisfying when we’re driving behind an unbearable slowpoke, but when someone is tailgating us, we often feel outrage that someone would do something so dangerous. Try to remember how you would want to be treated and resist the urge to tailgate others, no matter how slowly they’re driving.
The fact is that tailgating increases your risk for a car accident much more than a slow driver does. Tailgating is also even more dangerous if you’re tailgating something other than a passenger vehicle. For example, it’s riskier to tailgate a semi truck because their large cargo inhibits your ability to predict what they’ll do next. It also takes semi trucks longer to stop than other passenger vehicles, so you may not anticipate that the truck will begin to slow down or stop as early as it does.
Consider not only your own safety, but also the safety of others on the road. You may be able to walk away from a fender-bender with barely a scratch, but even a minor accident can injure a motorcyclist severely. Tailgating a motorcyclist is inconsiderate of the space a motorcyclist needs in order to ride safely.
By making not tailgating one of your resolutions, you’ll not only be keeping yourself safe, but you’ll also be increasing the safety of everyone else on the road.
Help from an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer
With these New Year’s resolutions, we hope you have safe travels for the rest of 2018. However, no matter how many precautions you take, someone else’s reckless driving can still injure you in an accident. If you’ve been injured after a wreck, call Hensley Legal Group today or contact us online for a free consultation.